AS-565 Mbe Panther: The Versatile ‘Submarine Hunter’ Helicopter

The AS-565 Mbe Panther is a medium-weight multi-purpose helicopter manufactured by Airbus Helicopters. It is primarily designed for military and law enforcement missions, but it can also be used for civil applications such as search and rescue operations, medical evacuations, and offshore operations.

The Panther has a length of 15.54 meters, a height of 4.34 meters, and a rotor diameter of 13.06 meters. It has a maximum takeoff weight of 4,300 kg and can carry up to 10 passengers or 4,500 kg of external load. The helicopter is powered by two Turbomeca Arriel 2C2 engines, each capable of producing 922 kW of power.

The Panther has a modern avionics suite that includes a glass cockpit, integrated flight management system, and a four-axis autopilot. It also features a wide range of mission-specific equipment, such as a forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera, searchlight, rescue hoist, and emergency floatation system.

The Panther’s armament options include machine guns, rockets, and anti-tank missiles. It can also be equipped with self-protection systems such as chaff and flare dispensers and infrared jammers.

The helicopter has a top speed of 306 km/h and a range of 780 km with standard fuel tanks. It can operate in a wide range of weather conditions, including hot and high-altitude environments.

The Panther is in service with several countries, including France, Mexico, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia. It has been used in various military operations, including peacekeeping missions, counter-terrorism operations, and anti-piracy operations.

In addition to its military capabilities, the Panther has also been used in various civilian applications. It has been used for offshore oil and gas operations, law enforcement missions, and emergency medical services.

Overall, the AS-565 Mbe Panther is a versatile and reliable helicopter that can perform a wide range of missions in various environments. Its advanced avionics suite and mission-specific equipment make it a valuable asset for military and civilian operators alike.

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